There are firsts for everything in life; first breath, first kiss, first love. This is one of my “firsts”…my first time EVER to sew a sweater. I have never sewn with any loose knit/sweater knit fabrics before, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I picked out Simplicity 8529 sweater pattern due to its minimal seams and super cool style. I picked view A for this make.
I don’t own a serger, or coverstitch machine, but I do have a fabulous sewing machine that has various computerized stitches to include some stitches specially designed for stretch knits. In fact, I found out that most computerized machines have a stretch stitch on them which looks like a special zigzag stitch.
Now was the time to give those stretch stitches some practice on scrap pieces of my fabric. I bought a super soft viscose/lycra waffle weave knit that is somewhat light weight and super stretchy. I sewed several practice stitch patterns through various layers until I found the right combo for my fabric. I also found that a walking foot works really well too! I prepared my supplies to include fusible knit stay tape and wonder adhesive tape. Oh.. and here is a nifty trick… My fabric was almost impossible to tell the right side from the wrong side so I marked the RIGHT side with yellow chalk on all my pieces. It washes out.
SEW…. Here We GO!
Wash and dry your fabric before you cut into it. Put a stretch ball point needle in your sewing machine. Be very careful not to stretch your fabric out when placing your pattern on it or while you’re cutting it. I highly suggest you use a rotary cutter for a knit project. All seam allowances are 5/8″ unless otherwise stated.
Time to iron on some fusible stay tape to the shoulder seam areas. Also, the instructions tell you to finish off the edges of the collar. My knit does not ravel so I did not sew the edges. I left them just as they are for less bulk and pucker.
The very first seam you make is to sew the shoulder seam and “collar” all in one step. It is really kinda cool how this pattern makes that collar. This process was NOT intuitive to me, but it works. You’re supposed to line up the front and back pieces at the shoulders and then fold both collar pieces over together to the back and sew it in one big seam from collar to end of shoulder. What???? OK. If you say so. I used a ton of wonder tape to hold all the layers in place.
Next step is to insert the sleeves. I laid my bodice out flat and pinned my sleeve to it with right sides together and matching the the dots and sewed it in place. I found using a tool of some sort to help the fabric move through the feed dogs is essential.
With right sides together, sew the side seams and sleeve in one feld swoop starting at the dot where the slit starts, sew up to the sleeve and down to the end of the sleeve.
I finish off the side slit by folding back the fabric only once and using an overcast type stitch to hold it down instead of a double rolled hem. I didn’t want the bulk.
Now I made a command decision here. I tried my sweater on and really liked the length of the sleeve without putting the cuff on it…sew… I decided to “hem” both the bottom hem and sleeve hem by doing a curvy edge with an overcast stitch along the edge. I pulled the edge while I sewed the overcast stitch to cause it to do a wavy puckered look.
And…. WHAAAAA LAAAAAH! A quick easy breezy soft and cuddly sweater for fall and winter. I can’t believe how well it came out without a serger!!!! YES BABY!!!